Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
You can't beat a comforting bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, and this version is superhealthy too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal303
  • fat17g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs14g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein25g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 450g pork mince
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g spaghetti, to serve

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 3 roasted red peppers (from a jar), roughly chopped


  1. Put the pork mince in a bowl and stir in the apple, garlic, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 16 balls, cover and chill for 10 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 mins, until softened, then tip in the tomatoes and half a can of water. Stir in the peppers along with some salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the meatballs. Cook for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally until they are browned all over. Set aside and keep warm.

  4. Using a hand-held blender, whizz the tomato sauce until smooth. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 mins, until cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, drain, then divide between serving plates. Top with the meatballs and sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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thecherub's picture
23rd Aug, 2011
This was good but in need of a few changes. I would use more peppers next time. I also added sage to the meatballs for a bit more flavour. It wasnt obvious the apple was there but they were nice and moist. I halved the meat balls as there were just 2 of us but cooked the same amount of sauce and it worked well. Also I did not blitz it all at the end as I liked it chunky (and I was too lazy/hungry!)
18th Aug, 2011
I just made the sauce to go with some leftover meatballs I had. It was delicious. I used a fresh pepper which I blackened under the grill to get rid of the skin. I also used chicken stock instead of water, and added garlic. I then added some oregano and fresh basil. Very nice - we will definitely be having it again!
16th Jun, 2011
Made some changes. I used fresh peppers not from the jar (they contain too much sugar and there are many fresh peppers in the summer), which I blackened in the over for 30 minutes. I added a chicken stock cube, one finely grated carrot in the sauce and some parmesan at the end. I used two small grated apples for the mince balls, they add lots of lovely sweetness. I had it with rice not spaghetti. My baby and I loved it! Lots of vegetables/fruits, simple and healthy, definitely a favourite.
5th Jun, 2011
I added a few chilli flakes and plenty black pepper to the sauce which made it really yummy. There was plenty sauce (although mine served 3 hungry adults not 4) and the apple in the meatballs seemed to keep them moist - didn't add to the taste. Have already made it twice and it will now become a regular midweek supper dish.
9th May, 2011
I really liked this and the sauce was great; however, I couldn't really taste the apple in the meatballs so would either leave it out next time or add more.
16th Apr, 2011
Ok recipe but result is a bit boring, the sauce was quite bland. Must be the first recipe from BBC Good Food that I wont remake!
17th Feb, 2011
Added chilli to the sauce - tasty mid week meal
16th Jan, 2011
A lovely low budget filling meal. Although the peppadew peppers I used were quite spicy, the kids loved it.
16th Jan, 2011
Fine, nothing special but an easy midweek meal. Sauce is quite bland.
21st Jul, 2010
Lovely recipe - quick, healthy and very tasty. I added garlic, chopped chilli, and a splash of white wine and I used fresh tomatoes - shame to use canned in the summer when there are gorgeous tomatoes around. I served it with rice which makes it even lighter than pasta.


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